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Highlights

PV/diesel/hydro/battery found to be the most viable system with a COE of 0.443$/kWh.

Outcome found to be highly relevant to policy makers and investors in Cameroon.

Hybrid off-grid renewables shows promising prospects for remote applications.

Limited studies in renewables, less state efforts to boast and revitalize the sector.

Abstract

Cameroon is blessed with a vast potential of renewable energy resources: solar, biomass, hydropower, wind and geothermal energies. These resources are currently poorly valorized. The country depends mainly on hydropower for its electricity supply and traditional biomass for its energy consumption. This dependency on hydropower causes acute power shortage nationwide, especially in remote communities where grid access is limited. Rural electrification is mainly conducted through costly grid extensions, small hydro and diesel plants with enormous health and environmental effects. This study assesses the feasibilities of hybrid renewable power systems for remote applications in Southern Cameroons using the climate data of Wum. HOMER was used to perform the comparative analysis. Nine hybrid systems were considered in this study based on the following components: PV module, wind turbine, micro-hydro turbine, diesel generator, battery, charge controllers, and inverters. Two energy sources and storage battery characterized each system. The PV/diesel/small hydro/battery was found to be the most viable economic system for Southern Cameroons with a 0.443$/kWh energy cost. The optimum system was proven to be very resilient to variations in streamflow, interest rate, fuel price, and PV cost. This outcome was found to be highly relevant to policy makers and investors in Cameroon.

Keywords

Renewables

Hybrid systems

Rural electrification

Cameroon

Energy access

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